CONFUSION and uncertainty over potential school changes in Redditch were caused by poor communications.
That was the conclusion of a report published by Redditch Borough Council this week following news earlier this year Tudor Grange Academy was looking to increase its age range, potentially prompting a change to a two-tier system across the borough.
In the Overview and Scrutiny report, councillors said Tudor Grange Academies Trust and Worcestershire County Council could learn from the experiences.
“Members acknowledge that, based on comments made by representatives of the school during a visit in October, the school was committed to considering all feedback provided in response to their consultation process and potentially amending their proposals accordingly.
“Unfortunately, members also feel that the speed with which the consultation was announced and the lack of significant discussions with other schools prior to this announcement about the proposed changes led interested stakeholders to conclude that the proposals were a fait accompli.”
If the recommendations included in the report are endorsed by the borough’s executive committee, chief executive Kevin Dicks will be called on to write to the Secretary of State for Education and the Minister of State for Schools to request specific guidance be issued to schools about changing their age intake in a three-tier education system.
Worcestershire County Council has also been asked to consult borough as well as county councillors when commissioning education services and produce guides about the system and the process which needs to be followed when making changes.
Rebecca Hyder, one of the founding members of the Redditch School Changes group, said the report was a useful summary of what had happened and clarified the issues parents were unhappy with.
“This is an additional document which shows that the local community is approaching this together and that we are not passive recipients of a potentially damaging change.”
Tudor Grange and Worcestershire County Council had not responded to requests for comments when the Standard went to press.